Wall Removal in Older Homes

wall removal

In the city of Edmonton older homes offer many aspects that appeal to homeowners. Older neighbourhoods tend to have larger lots on tree lined streets. They are also typically closer to the heart of the city and often offer access to developed walking trails. On the other hand, many homeowners like the open concept living space of newer homes. So how can you get both? The logical way to get both is by a wall removal. There are a few important things to consider when removing a wall (or two) in your home to create more of an open concept.  

What to consider in a wall removal:

1. Asbestos

Prior to a wall removal you need to find out if your older home has asbestos or not. Prior to 1980 asbestos was commonly used in homes to provide insulation and fire proofing as well as in drywall mud and ceiling texture. We now know how dangerous asbestos can be if it is disturbed, like when you renovate your house to remove a wall. Depending on the different materials used in your home an asbestos abatement can run from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. If you have already decided you are going to use a General Contractor for your renovation they will arrange for a trusted abatement company. Once contacted an abatement company will come through and take samples from your home for testing. That testing will determine if anything is required to make your home safe for a renovation.

2. Load Bearing Walls

The second thing to determine is if the wall or walls you want removed are load bearing. It is not a difficult process for a professional to take out a load bearing wall. It does however, require lead up work with structural engineers and going through a permitting process with the city. An engineers report will determine if a wall is load bearing. That report will tell us what type, and how many LVL beams need to be installed to support the weight of your roof. These beams are specially engineered to be able to carry the weight of your roof across an open span.  

3. Electrical and Mechanical in Walls

Next we need to determine whether or not there is mechanical running in the wall that you want removed. Heating ducts, air returns, plumbing and electrical are all hidden in your walls. In most cases they can be moved, but there is often an expense involved in relocation. In some cases it will just be way too expensive to relocate all that mechanical. That is where we try to get creative in how we can open a space up but sadly sometimes it is just way too expensive. 

Now don’t feel like a wall removal is all doom and gloom! These are just a few things to consider. In many cases the walls we remove do not have any issues! All we need to do is repair some drywall and replace flooring. It is best to speak with a professional though so you know what the options are for removing a wall in your home.